The CSU loudly disapproved of the traffic light’s actions. Now the party is taking action. The SPD attests to her desperately clinging to the status quo.
The CSU defends itself against the Bundestag decision on the electoral law reform. The board of the party decided unanimously on Saturday to file a constitutional complaint. According to party leader Markus Söder, this should be done before the summer break.
The traffic light parties SPD, Greens and FDP had pushed through the electoral law reform with their majority in the Bundestag on Friday – against the bitter resistance of the CSU and the Left Party in particular. The parliamentary manager of the SPD parliamentary group, Katja Mast, called the action of the CSU to be expected. Söder and the CSU did not want a simple and fair right to vote. “Instead, they want to change the status quo in their favor with trench electoral law. That’s why the CSU, as a regional party, has prevented any reform to seriously downsize the Bundestag in the past.”
The chairman of the FDP parliamentary group, Christian Dürr, accused Söder of performing an embarrassing play. “We have responded to many of the Union’s requests in recent weeks. I don’t think the Union’s approval failed because of the CDU, but rather because of Markus Söder,” explained Dürr. His behavior casts a bad light on politics because it gives the impression that politicians are glued to their chairs. “We are serious about downsizing the Bundestag – the only one who is incapable of reform is Söder himself.”
With the reform, the Bundestag, which has grown to 736 MPs, is to be permanently reduced to 630 seats from the next election in 2025. This is to be achieved by dispensing with overhang and compensation mandates. So far, these have caused the Bundestag to become increasingly bloated. According to the new rules, it could happen in the future that an applicant wins his constituency directly, but still does not get into the Bundestag. This angers the CSU in particular.
Söder: “Attack on democracy and federalism”
In addition, a strict five percent clause should apply. The so-called basic mandate clause does not apply. So far, it has ensured that parties with the strength of their second vote result also entered the Bundestag if they were less than five percent but won at least three direct mandates. The Left Party benefited from this in 2021. Depending on the election result, the omission of the clause could also have consequences for the CSU, whose direct candidates traditionally win most constituencies in Bavaria. Should it fall below five percent nationwide, it would be kicked out of the Bundestag.
Söder spoke at the weekend of an “attack on democracy and federalism”. He criticized that the traffic light parties are not concerned with reducing the size of the Bundestag, but rather with weakening the opposition and Bavaria. Almost nine million votes could be “rationalized away,” he argued — a deep violation of the principles of state and federalism. And the CSU is basically “denied the right to exist”.
Mast replied that the “much disputed abolition of the basic mandate clause” came as no surprise to the Union. This had been part of the negotiations since the public hearing.
I have been working in the news industry for over 6 years, first as a reporter and now as an editor. I have covered politics extensively, and my work has appeared in major newspapers and online news outlets around the world. In addition to my writing, I also contribute regularly to 24 Hours World.